Existential internet states

Thought Catalog has an amusing and unsettlingly accurate piece on ‘Five Emotions Invented by the Internet’ which has a series of existential feelings uniquely evoked by our favourite worldwide communication network.

The state of being ‘installed’ at a computer or laptop for an extended period of time without purpose, characterized by a blurry, formless anxiety undercut with something hard like desperation.

During this time the individual will have several windows open, generally several browser ‘tabs,’ a Microsoft Word document in some state of incompletion, the individual’s own Facebook page as well as that of another randomly-selected individual who may or may not be on the ‘friends’ list, 2-5 Gchat conversations that are no longer immediately active, possibly iTunes and a ‘client’ for Twitter. The individual will switch between the open applications/tabs in a fashion that appears organized but is functionally aimless, will return to reading some kind of ‘blog post’ in one browser tab and become distracted at the third paragraph for the third time before switching to the Gmail inbox and refreshing it again.

More new emotional experiences triggered by the interweb at the link below.

Link to ‘Five Emotions Invented by the Internet’.


  1. Posted February 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    They describe that like it’s a bad thing. *glances up at the 14 tabs open in Chrome* I’m not sure why I’m supposed to feel anxiety and desperation about that. One is a webcomic I’m reading the archives of, another is for a company that I’ll be doing a mock interview with as part of school so I’m reading about pieces of equipment periodically, another is a synthesizer listing on Amazon that I’ve been drooling over for weeks now, one is Listography that contains my to-do lists et al, and another couple are stories and articles I haven’t gotten to yet.

    Then again, I’ve spent 16+ years learning how to cope with the internet and maybe everyone is just different. :D

    “A vague and gnawing pang of anxiety centered around an IM window that has lulled.” = uncomfortable silence in regular conversation.

    “A sudden and irrational rage in response to reading an ‘@-reply’ on Twitter.” = How is that any different from the same thing happening in a conversation, either in person or on the phone? Are we to assume that never happened before 2008 when Twitter hit?

    “The car collision of appetite and discomfort one feels simultaneously when using the internet to seek and consume images or information that may be considered unseemly or inappropriate.” = Rocking out to the Scorpions when the come on the radio, or attending in person the actual bad standup by the straw-man friend from the article.

    “The sense of fatigue and disconnect one experiences after emitting a massive stream of content only to hit some kind of ‘wall’ and forget and/or abandon the entire thing.” = The emotion felt when producing the “Five emotions invented on the Internet” article.

    This post brought to you by Tongue In Cheek and /sarcasm. :D

    • Posted February 21, 2011 at 1:43 am | Permalink

      Gratitude for a comment which makes it unnecessary to read the article.

  2. Paul C.
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink


    Let’s not forget the rewarding moments spent watching a green bar getting filled.

    Paul C.

  3. jennablue
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    i was wondering if you could check out my site… it’s my journal from my life living at a psychiatric hospital and beyond. let me know what you think, that’d be incredible


  4. Tom
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s not a new emotion, it’s just boredom. The same as sitting in front of a TV aimlessly flipping through stations like we did before the Internet.

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    The state of being ‘installed’ at a computer or laptop for an extended period of time without purpose, characterized by a blurry, formless anxiety undercut with something hard like desperation….

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